A new report* produced jointly with SAC highlights such on-farm opportunities, explained the NNFCC’s Jeremy Tomkinson.

With oilseed rape prices relatively high the feasibility of on-farm biodiesel production was questionable, and a new SAC calculator could help determine whether projects might be viable, noted Dr Tomkinson.

But methane could meet a wide range of energy needs, and the technology to create it from specially grown crops like maize and ryegrass mixed with livestock manures and food processing wastes was already available and proven in Germany where government incentives had been introduced.

“The key is to look your local markets,” he said. Grants to set up such projects in the UK were not dissimilar.

One way to get ventures off the ground would be for farmers to co-operate so benefiting from economies of scale, he suggested.

* A Review of the Potential for On-Farm Processing of Various Non-Food Crop Products can be downloaded here http://www.nnfcc.co.uk/nnfcclibrary/publications/download.cfm?id=45